What Do We Mean by “Public”?

Was heißt hier “public?”

These days, Public History is the standard name for both a range of institutional frameworks and various working practices that seek to propagate historical knowledge beyond academy and school history lessons. A closer look at the concept reveals that it is precisely the emphasis on the ‘public’ component that marks the essential difference from other fields of activity in the historical sciences.

 

Who or What Is a “Broad” Public?

If one considers Public History not to be its own academic discipline but rather a generally open and interdisciplinary field of writing and research, it is necessary to delineate more precisely what terms such as ‘the public’ and ‘the public sphere’ conceptually contain, i.e. how they should be understood. The qualifiers that people like to use in contemporary publications on Public History such as ‘broad’, ‘popular’, ‘interested’, ‘non-academic’, or—in the best case of collaborat…


Categories: 7 (2019) 27
DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1515/phw-2019-14181

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